If you don’t know about pansexuality already, it is alright. There has been a mushrooming of information about sexuality and gender identity in news, pop culture and whatnot, that it is easy to be confused. But, today is the Pan Visibility Day and we’d like to take the opportunity to be your road to woke-ness.
But, if you are one of those noobs that think pansexuality means being attracted to pans, then we feel sorry for you. We truly hope that you will put your elementary reading skills to use and gain some knowledge, lest you hope to remain ignorant.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, pansexuality means to be “not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.” While the identity might have been around for a while, the usage of the word has only become popular in recent years. So, unless you are extremely well-versed in LGBTQ+ issues (or Miley Cyrus’s sexual preferences), it is alright if you are lost. We’ve got your back:
Pansexual? You mean bisexual!
No, pansexual isn’t the same as bisexual. Bisexuality is generally defined as the sexual attraction to two genders (most commonly, the two being, both men and women). On the other hand, pansexuality, is the capability for sexual attraction regardless of gender identity. Pan comes for the Greek word all, which means that pansexual can be translated as all sexual. I could be attracted to a man, a woman, a transgender person, hell; I could even be into a genderqueer person.
Oh, so it is all about lust, eh?
When I am on the prowl, I am not limiting myself to just one tiny little group. I don’t care if he is oozing testosterone or if she is the hottest girl in the club. Does she listen to music and make up video scenes in her mind? Does he like to make tiny little notes on the margins of the books he likes? Do they like to take long walks? What I am looking for someone who I can truly connect with. I am looking for a person I can love, not a tick in an application form. Just because one could be attracted to anyone does not mean that one will be attracted to just about anyone. Boy, do I have a list of demands!
So you are attracted to people for their personality?
Well, that is what you would call demisexuality. You could be a completely shallow person and still be pansexual.
So, you are probably polyamorous
Hell, no! In fact, this is a myth that came out of the fetishisation of queer and bisexual identities, especially by straight men who believe ‘bi/pan sexuality’ equates to ‘threesome’. In reality, sexual identity and polyamory are not mutually exclusive. People are not more prone to polyamory simply because of their identity.
Basically you can’t make up your mind
I am eye-rolling at you so hard right now, I can see the heavens. Being pansexual means that I might be emotionally, romantically and/or sexually attracted towards another person for reasons that are not limited by biological sex, gender or gender identity. If I am looking for someone that I can actually truly vibe with, regardless of what exists between their legs, how does that make me flaky?
Then what is this being romantic about a pan… panromanticism?
Okay, I’ll get a little serious about this now. Sexual attraction is different from romantic attraction and more often than not, the both of them do not have to be towards the same sex/gender. A romantic attraction is a desire for a romantic relationship with the opposite person (this need not involve sex at all), and a sexual attraction is a desire to have possible intercourse with the opposite person.
While being pansexual means that an individual is sexually attracted to a person of any sex and gender, being panromantic just means that the individual is romantically attracted to people regardless of their sex and/or gender.
Oh! This must be one of those new-age hipster terms
Well, maybe you should read more in the first place. Secondly. Considering we are living in a world where people still haven’t found it in their hearts or brains to accept bisexuality, I think it is safe to assume that pansexual people have probably just been silent up until recently. Also, if someone hasn’t learnt about gravity, it doesn’t mean gravity hasn’t been around since the beginning.
Arrey! Why must we label every goddamn thing, yaar?
As much as we might be talking about shedding labels, fact remains that it is how we all define ourselves. For many people who identify as pansexual, the definition of bisexuality simply didn’t represent their own sexual identity. Sure, putting yourself into a box isn’t ideal, but at the same time everyone wants to be able to articulate what they feel. So, I am sorry if it offends you, but honestly, get woke.